Large mammalian herbivores are major ecological drivers and strongly influence ecosystem functioning. With my research program I use a resource ecological approach to understand these interactions between herbivores and the ecosystems they live in. Resource ecology is the science of trophic interactions between consumers and their resources. This CIG application describes the research line that I propose for an Assistant Professorship that I recently accepted at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. I secured this position after strong international competition and an external evaluation process in which I was ranked number 1 by an international review panel. Unfortunately, the position only covers my salary and does not include start-up money to support my research. The CIG should provide this crucial start-up money. More specifically, in the proposed project I will focus on resource hotspots as an example of strong positive feedback interactions between herbivore and their plant resources. I will study the factors that modify the strength of these interactions, specifically abiotic factors and predation risk by apex predators, to understand when and where resource hotspots develop. I follow a comparative approach and propose to study consumer-resource interactions in African savannas and boreal forests. This will improve our insight in the functioning herbivore-resource interactions across terrestrial ecosystems and plant functional types. As a result, and thanks to the support of the CIG, I aim to become a leading independent scientist within the European research arena.
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call